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I'm reading Peter Orner's The Raft and find a sentence as this

I told the boy to can it.

From the Chinese translation, it seems "can it" means "close your mouth" just liking "shut up". Is it truly? And what is the difference of "can it" and "shut up"?

marked as duplicate by Janus Bahs Jacquet, Matt E. Эллен, ghoppe, RyeɃreḁd, phenry Mar 5 '14 at 20:06

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  • 1
    Imagine a food canning factory. Can it and seal it. – Blessed Geek Mar 5 '14 at 9:00
  • 1
    And realise that there are two different words that look and sound exactly the same, can and can. They're homonyms. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 5 '14 at 15:10

"Can it" indeed means the same as "shut up". It's more typical of AE than of other dialects of English, and also not as commonly used as "shut up". Hope this helps. :)

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